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In this installment, Ira Sadoff reads “London” by William Blake. Sadoff is the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently Grazing and Barter. He is also the author of a novel, Uncoupling, and The Ira Sadoff Reader (poems, stories, and essays). His work has been widely anthologized, appearing in both The Harper Anthology of American Literature and St. Martin's Introduction to Literature; he has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA and has taught at the University of Virginia, the Iowa Writer's Work Shop, and the M.F.A. program at Warren Wilson College. Currently, he teaches at Colby College and is a core faculty member at New England College's low-residency M.F.A. program. For more information on his work, see here or here.
William Blake's "London"
I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear.
How the Chimney-sweeper's cry
Every black'ning Church appalls;
And the hapless Soldier's sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.
But most thro' midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlot's curse
Blasts the new born Infant's tear,
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.
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